“I wish I was better looking”

The words crackled in the air
like bread stuck in the toaster:
“Deal with me instantly
or I’ll stink up the kitchen!”

What is it about
toasters — they never work:
if they don’t burn the bread
and set off the smoke alarm
they stick so tight you fish
with a fork at risk of execution.

Answering loaded questions
can lead to electrocution too.
But put aside that risk
for a moment and consider
where the question is coming from:
some flicker emanating from a mirror
or a comment stinging around
the tear ducts like a canker
beside the tongue that spoke

See a young boy scuff-kneed
wearing his bandaids with just such
an insouciance, passing her
his yo-yo walking the dog perfectly
without noticing her on the swing
leaving her in mid air frozen
at the top of the arc legs flung out
head back in preview of
later encounters with other boys
but frozen here indelibly
he did not notice her

She keeps that inside
her heart frozen on the arc of the swing
to be revisited in the shrine of dreams
a successful family grandchildren
into the years of perfect contentment
her own loveliness nothing
she is on the swing again
leaning back smiling
squeezing out brine
that runs down her cheeks
waiting for the boy to turn.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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